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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

About Punjab

When Sikhism was began?
The religion of Sikhism began at the time of the Conquest of Northern India by Babur.
Who start the Langar in Sikhism?
Akbar supported religious freedom and after visiting the langar of Guru Amar Das had a favorable impression of Sikhism. As a result of his visit he donated land to the langar and had a positive relationship with the Sikh Gurus until his death in 1605
Who arrested the Guru Arjun Dev and why?
His successor, Jahangir, saw the Sikhs as a political threat. He arrested Guru Arjun Dev because of Sikh support for Khusrau Mirza and ordered him to be put to death by torture.

Guru Arjan Dev's Martyrdom led to the sixth Guru, Guru Har Gobind, declaring Sikh sovereignty in the creation of the Akal Takht and the establishment of a fort to defend Amritsar [6].Jahangir attempted to assert authority over the Sikhs by jailing Guru Har Gobind at Gwalior and released him after a number of years when he no longer felt threatened. Sikhism did not have any further issues with the Mughal Empire until the death of Jahangir in 1627.
His successor, Shah Jahan "took offense" at Guru Har Gobind's sovereignty and after a series of assaults on Amritsar forced the Sikhs to retreat to the Sivalik Hills [7]. Guru Har Gobind's successor, Guru Har Rai maintained the guruship in the Sivalik Hills by defeating local attempts to seize Sikh land and taking a neutral role in the power struggle between Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh for control of the Timurid dynasty.
The ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, moved the Sikh community to Anandpur and traveled extensively to visit and preach in Sikh communities in defiance Aurangzeb, who attempted to install Ram Rai to the guruship. He aided Kashmiri Brahmins in avoiding conversion to Islam and was arrested and confronted by Aurangzeb. When offered a choice between conversion or death, he chose to die rather than compromise his principles and was executed [8].
Guru Gobind Singh, assumed the guruship in 1675 and to avoid battles with Sivalik Hill Rajas moved the gurship to Paunta. He built a large fort to protect the city and garrisoned an army to protect it.The growing power of the Sikh community alarmed Sivalik Hill Rajas who attempted to attack the city but the Guru's forces routed them at the Battle of Bhangani. He moved on to Anandpur and established the Khalsa, a collective army of baptized Sikhs, on March 30, 1699. The establishment of the Khalsa united the Sikh community against various Mughal-backed claimants to the guruship [9].
In 1701, a combined army composed of the Sivalik Hill Rajas and the Mughal army under Wazir Khan attacked Anandpur and, following a retreat by the Khalsa, were defeated by the Khalsa at the Battle of Mukstar. In 1707, Guru Gobind Singh accepted an invitation by Bahadur Shah I, Aurangzeb's successor to meet in southern India. When he arrived in Nanded in 1708, he was assassinated by agents of Wazir Khan, the governor of Sirhind.
Banda Singh Bahadur
Banda Singh Bahadur was an ascetic who converted to Sikhism after meeting Guru Gobind Singh at Nanded. A short time before his death, Guru Gobind Singh ordered him to reconquer Punjab and gave him a letter that commanded all Sikhs to join him. After two years of gaining supporters, Banda Singh Bahadur initiated an agrarian uprising by breaking up the large estates of Zamindar families and distributing the land to the poor Sikh,Hindu,and Muslim peasants who farmed the land [10]. Banda Singh Bahadur started his rebellion with the defeat of Mughal armies at Samana and Sadhaura and the rebellion culminated in the defeat of Sirhind. During the rebellion, Banda Singh Bahadur made a point of destroying the cities in which Mughals had been cruel to Sikhs, including executing Wazir Khan in revenge for the deaths of Guru Gobind Singh's sons after the Sikh victory at Sirhind [11]. He ruled the territory between the Sutlej river and the Yamuna river established a capital in the Himalayas at Lohgarh and struck coinage with the faces of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh[12]. In 1716, his army was defeated by the Mughals after he attempted to defend his fort at Gurdas Nangal. He was captured along with 700 of his men and sent to Delhi where he was tortured and executed after refusing to convert to Islam
The period from 1716 to 1799 was a highly turbulent time politically and militarily in the Punjab. This was caused by the overall decline of the Mughal Empire.[13] This left a power vacuum that was eventually filled by the Sikhs in the late 18th century, after fighting off local Mughal remnants and allied Rajput leaders, Afghans, and occasionally hostile Punjabi Muslims who sided with other Muslim forces. Sikh warlords eventually formed their own independent Sikh administrative regions (misls), which were united in large part by Ranjit Singh.

The Sikh Empire (1801–1849) was formed on the foundations of the Punjabi Army by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west, to Kashmir in the north, to Sindh in the south, and Tibet in the east. The main geographical footprint of the empire was the Punjab region. The religious demography of the Sikh Empire was Muslim (80%), Sikh (10%), Hindu (10%),[14].
The foundations of the Sikh Empire, during the time of the Punjabi Army, could be defined as early as 1707, starting from the death of Aurangzeb and the downfall of the Mughal Empire. The fall of the Mughal Empire provided opportunities for the army, known as the Dal Khalsa, to lead expeditions against the Mughals and Afghans. This led to a growth of the army, which was split into different Punjabi armies and then semi-independent "misls". Each of these component armies were known as a misl, each controlling different areas and cities. However, in the period from 1762-1799, Sikh rulers of their misls appeared to be coming into their own. The formal start of the Sikh Empire began with the disbandment of the Punjab Army by the time of coronation of Ranjit Singh in 1801, creating a unified political state. All the misl leaders who were affiliated with the Army were nobility with usually long and prestigious family histories in Punjab's history.[2][15]
End of Empire

Sikh empire from 1765 to 1805
After Ranjit Singh's death in 1839, the empire was severely weakened by internal divisions and political mismanagement. This opportunity was used by the British Empire to launch the Anglo-Sikh Wars.
The Battle of Ferozeshah in 1845 marked many turning points, the British encountered the Punjabi Army, opening with a gun-duel in which the Sikhs "had the better of the British artillery". But as the British made advancements, Europeans in their army were especially targeted, as the Sikhs believed if the army "became demoralised, the backbone of the enemy's position would be broken"[16]. The fighting continued throughout the night earning the nickname "night of terrors". The British position "grew graver as the night wore on", and "suffered terrible casualties with every single member of the Governor General's staff either killed or wounded"[17].
British General Sire James Hope Grant recorded: "Truly the night was one of gloom and forbidding and perhaps never in the annals of warfare has a British Army on such a large scale been nearer to a defeat which would have involved annihilation"[17]
The Punjabi ended up recovering their camp, and the British were exhausted. Lord Hardinge sent his son to Mudki with a sword from his Napoleonic campaigns. A note in Robert Needham Cust's diary revealed that the "British generals decided to lay down arms: News came from the Governor General that our attack of yesterday had failed, that affairs were disparate, all state papers were to be destroyed, and that if the morning attack failed all would be over, this was kept secret by Mr.Currie and we were considering measures to make an unconditional surrender to save the wounded..."[17].
However, a series of events of the Sikhs being betrayed by some prominent leaders in the army led to its downfall. Maharaja Gulab Singh and Dhian Singh, were Hindu Dogras from Jammu, and top Generals of the army. Tej Singh and Lal Singh were secretly allied to the British. They supplied important war plans of the Army, and provided the British with updated vital intelligence on the Army dealings, which ended up changing the scope of the war and benefiting the British positions[1][18].
The Sikh Empire was finally dissolved after a series of wars with the British at the end of the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849 into separate princely states and the British province of Punjab, which were granted statehood. Eventually, a Lieutenant Governorship was formed in Lahore as a direct representative of the British Crown.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh's throne, c.1820-1830, Hafiz Muhammad Multani, now at V&A Museum
The Punjab region was a region straddling India and Afghanistan. The following modern day political divisions made up the historical Sikh Empire:
• Punjab region till Multan in south
o Punjab, India
o Punjab, Pakistan
o Haryana, India.
o Himachal Pradesh, India
• Kashmir, conquered in 1818, India/Pakistan/China[19][20]
o Jammu, India
o Gilgit, Northern Areas, Pakistan (Occupied from 1842–1846)[21]
• Khyber Pass, Afghanistan/Pakistan[22]
o Peshawar, Pakistan[23] (taken in 1818, retaken in 1834)
o North-West Frontier Province and FATA, Pakistan (documented from Hazara (taken in 1818, again in 1836) to Bannu)[24]
• Parts of Western Tibet (1841), China[25]
Jamrud, Khyber Agency District was the westernmost limit of the Sikh Empire. The westward expansion was stopped in the Battle of Jamrud, in which the Afghans managed to kill prominent Sikh general Hari Singh Nalwa in an offensive, though the Sikhs successfully held their position at their Jamrud fort.

• 1762 - 1767, Invasion of Ahmed Shah Abdali.
• 1763 - 1774, Charat Singh Sukerchakia, Misldar of Sukerchakia misl established himself in Gujranwala.
• 1773, Ahmed Shah Abdali dies and his son Timur Shah launches several invasions of Punjab.
• 1774 - 1790, Maha Singh becomes Misldar of the Sukerchakia misl.
• 1790 - 1801, Ranjit Singh becomes Misldar of the Sukerchakia misl.
• 1801 April 12, Coronation of Ranjit Singh as Maharaja.
• 1801 - 27 June 1839, Reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, whose coronation took place in 1801.
• 27 June 1839 - 5 November 1840, Reign of Maharaja Kharak Singh
• 5 November 1840 - 18 January 1841, Chand Kaur was briefly Regent
• 18 January 1841 - 15 September 1843, Reign of Maharaja Sher Singh
• 15 September 1843 - 31 March 1849, Reign of Maharaja Duleep Singh

What is the meaning of Punjab
The word "Punjab" is a combination of the Persian words panj Five, and āb Water, giving the literal meaning of the "Land of Five Rivers". The five rivers after which Punjab is named are the Beas, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej.
Where is Punjab in india
Punjab is a state in northwest India. The Indian state borders the Pakistani province of Punjab to the west, Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Himachal Pradesh to the northeast, Chandigarh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest.
What is the total area of Punjab?
The total area of the state is 50,362 square kilometres (19,445 square miles). The population is 24,289,296 (2000). Punjab's capital is Chandigarh, which is administered separately as a Union Territory since it is also the capital of neighbouring Haryana.
Major cities of Punjab?
Other major cities of Punjab include Mohali, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Patiala and Jalandhar.
Where is Punjab in geographical area?
Punjab extends from the latitudes 29.30° North to 32.32° North and longitudes 73.55° East to 76.50° East.[5] It covers a geographical area of 50,362 km2 which is 1.54 % of country’s total geographical area.
In which belt Punjab suited ?
Due to the presence of a large number of rivers, most of the Punjab is a fertile plain. The southeast region of the state is semi-arid and gradually presents a desert landscape. A belt of undulating hills extends along the northeastern part of the state at the foot of the Himalayas.
How many distinct regions on the basis of soil types in Punjab?
Punjab is divided into three distinct regions on the basis of soil types. The regions are:
1. South-Western Punjab
2. Central Punjab
3. Eastern Punjab

How many zone in punjab?
Punjab falls under seismic zones II, III, and IV. Zones II and III are referred to as Low Damage Risk Zone while zone IV referred to as high damage risk zone.
What is the Climate in punjab?
Punjab region temperature range from -2° to 40°C (MIN/MAX), but can reach 47°C (117°F) in summer and can touch down to -5°C in winter.
Climatically, Punjab has three major seasons as under
• Hot weather (April to June) when temperature rises as high as 110F.
• Rainy season (July to September). Average rainfall annual ranges between 96 cms sub-mountain region and 46 cms in the plains.
• Cold weather (October to March). Temperature goes down as low as 40F.

When was Punjab Created?
The Indian state of Punjab was created in 1947, when the Partition of India split the former Raj province of Punjab between India and West Pakistan. The mostly Muslim western part of the province became West Pakistan's Punjab Province; the mostly Sikh eastern part became India's Punjab state. Many Sikhs and Hindus lived in the west, and many Muslims lived in the east, and so the partition saw many people displaced and much intercommunal violence.[8] Several small Punjabi princely states, including Patiala, also became part of India. In 1950, two separate states were created; Punjab included of the former Raj province of Punjab, while the princely states were combined into a new state, the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU). PEPSU consisted of the princely states of Patiala, Nabha, Jind, Kapurthala, Malerkotla, Faridkot and Kalsia. Himachal Pradesh was created as a union territory from several princely states and Kangra district. In 1956, PEPSU was merged into Punjab state, and several northern districts of Punjab in the Himalayas were added to Himachal Pradesh. Punjab region was united under the Sikh Empire from 1799 to 1849 and remained so until the end of the British rule in India.
What is Capital of Punjab?
The capital of the undivided Punjab province, Lahore, ended up in West Pakistan after partition, so a new capital for Indian Punjab state was built at Chandigarh. On 1 November 1966, the mostly Hindu southeastern half of Punjab became a separate state, Haryana. Chandigarh was on the border between the two states, and became a separate union territory which serves as the capital of both Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh was due to transfer to Punjab alone in 1986, but the transfer has been delayed pending an agreement on which parts of the Hindi speaking areas of Abohar and Fazilka, currently part of Firozpur District of Punjab, should be transferred to Haryana in exchange.
When was starting the Green Revolution in Punjab?
During the 1970s, the Green Revolution brought increased economic prosperity for the Sikh community in Punjab,
Who is the last Sikh leader?
Pratap Singh Kairon, the late Sikh leader. However, a growing polarisation between the Indian National Congress led Indian government and the main political party of the Sikhs,
When was Shiromani Akali Dal, start his journey?
Shiromani Akali Dal, began to widen during the 1970s. The hostility and bitterness arose from what was widely seen by the Sikhs as increasing alienation, centralization and discriminatory attitudes towards Punjab by the Government of India. This prompted the Shiromani Akali Dal to unanimously pass the Anandpur Sahib Resolution which among other things called for granting maximum autonomy for the Punjab and other states and limiting the role and powers of the Central Government.
What is Flora and fauna in Punjab?
The Shivalik area of Punjab with a geographical spread of 9448.97 square km is the richest area of Punjab in terms of floral and faunal diversity. It is the hill tract lying in the north-eastern part of the state. This area has been identified as one of the micro-endemic zones of the country.

How much number of wetlands, bird sanctuaries and zoological parks all over Punjab.
There are a number of wetlands, bird sanctuaries and zoological parks all over Punjab. These include the Hari-ke-pattan National Wetland and Wildlife Sanctuary at Amritsar, the Kanjli Wetland, the Kapurtala Sutlej Water Body Wetland, the Ropar Zoological Park, Chhatbir, Bansar Garden, Sangrur, the Aam Khas Bagh, Sirhind, the Ram Bagh Garden, the Shalimar Garden, Kapurthala and the Baradari Garden at Patiala

How many district and divisions in punjab?
Districts of Punjab along with their headquarters
Punjab state is divided into 4 subdivisions and 20 administrative districts (listed below):
• Firozpur Division
• Faridkot Division
• Patiala Division
• Jalandhar Division
• Amritsar District
• Barnala District
• Bathinda District
• Firozpur District
• Fatehgarh Sahib District
• Faridkot District
• Gurdaspur District
• Hoshiarpur District
• Jalandhar District
• Kapurthala District
• Ludhiana District
• Mansa District
• Moga District
• Mohali District
• Muktsar District
• Patiala District
• Rupnagar District
• Sangrur District
• Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar district
• Tarn Taran District

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